Originally published July 18, 2013 at 10:45a.m., updated July 18, 2013 at 11:35p.m.

KU football picked last in Big 12 media poll

Kansas University running backs and quarterbacks shuffle through a drill during a spring football practice on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at Memorial Stadium. From left, in front, are running backs Taylor Cox, James Sims, Brandon Bourbon and quarterback Blake Jablonski.

Kansas University running backs and quarterbacks shuffle through a drill during a spring football practice on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at Memorial Stadium. From left, in front, are running backs Taylor Cox, James Sims, Brandon Bourbon and quarterback Blake Jablonski.


It’s been four full seasons since the Kansas University football team finished anywhere but the Big 12 Conference basement, and the media members who cover the conference are banking on it becoming five.

At least that’s what coach Charlie Weis and the Jayhawks learned on Thursday, when, for the third straight year, they were picked to finish a distant 10th in the Big 12 in the preseason media poll.

KU’s spot in the standings was hardly a surprise and likely came as little shock to Weis and the Jayhawks. A season ago, when asked about being picked to finish last in the Big 12, Weis, who is a results-oriented kind of coach, said he didn’t blame anyone for putting the Jayhawks last and added that it was his and his team’s job to do something to change their minds.

In the four seasons since finishing 4-4 in the Big 12 North in 2008, the Jayhawks have won just two conference games and gone through league play twice without a victory. In three of those four seasons (2010, 2011 and 2012) KU was the lone team at the bottom of the Big 12 standings. In 2009, Baylor joined the Jayhawks as the only one-win teams in the conference. But the Bears have won 15 games in the four seasons since, with only Iowa State (12 wins) between Baylor and Kansas during the past four seasons.

Although KU’s spot at the bottom of the conference seemed easy for media members to nail down — KU received 56 points from 43 ballots — the rest of the preseason standings were a little more difficult to determine. Just 28 points separated the preseason favorite from fourth place, and six teams received first-place votes.

Oklahoma State (365) came out on top and received 15 of the 43 first-place votes. Oklahoma (355) was second and received eight first-place votes. TCU (347) was third with nine first-place votes.

And Texas, which has garnered the most national buzz throughout the summer, was picked to finish fourth with 337 points and eight first-place votes.

Baylor (282, two first-place votes) and Kansas State (240, one) came next, and Texas Tech (161), West Virginia (126) and Iowa State (96) rounded out the rest of the standings in front of Kansas.

Sims on Walker list

KU’s James Sims has been named to the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to college football’s top running back.

Sims, a senior from Irving, Texas, led the Jayhawks in rushing during the past three seasons. He enters 2013 as the top returning rusher in the Big 12 — his 2012 total of 1,013 yards ranked 18th nationally — and, with 2,482 career yards, sits 1,359 behind June Henley for the top spot on KU’s all-time rushing list.

Sims joins KU junior linebacker Ben Heeney (Rotary Lombardi Award) as the two Jayhawks named to preseason watch lists so far.

2013 Big 12 football media preseason poll

  1. Oklahoma State (15) 365
  2. Okahoma (8) 355
  3. TCU (9) 347
  4. Texas (8) 337
  5. Baylor (2) 282
  6. K-State (1) 240
  7. Texas Tech 161
  8. West Virginia 126
  9. Iowa State 96
  10. Kansas 56

(First-place votes in parentheses)


Bobby Burch 9 years, 4 months ago

Fodder for the underdogs. Prove 'em wrong hawks! Rock Chalk!

Steve Jacob 9 years, 4 months ago

Yea, picked at the bottom sure has fired up KU that last three years...

JJHAWK 9 years, 4 months ago

NO Way!. I really mean it, no way we are under-performing expectations. RCJH

patkindle 9 years, 4 months ago

yeah but,,,,,, basket ball is just around the corner,

texashawk10 9 years, 4 months ago

Stupidmichael's not scared, KU football is screwed.

William Daniels 9 years, 4 months ago

The way I read this, the media feels there are 4 top tier teams and 6 bottom tier. If we can end up in the top slot of the bottom tier (aka 5th place) I will be thrilled!

Todd 9 years, 4 months ago

No big deal for me. Yes, we should be improved and we have more talent. But with the exception of the RB position, this team is mostly an unknown so the media can only pick based on what they already know. Unless you're Texas or Alabama and then they like to guess and hand them number one spots based on nothing lol

texashawk10 9 years, 4 months ago

Texas was handed the number one spot this year. I think where the media has UT is just fine. If David Ash finally plays to expectations, then UT is the best team in the Big 12 and should win the league easily this year, but most people outside of Austin don't see that happening so 4th is a good spot for UT.

LogicMan 9 years, 4 months ago

KSU not getting a lot of respect. I'd wager that they'll do much better than sixth.

Maybe KU can start earning some of that respect too this year. Let's give them all the support we can, and for the entire season.

Brad Avery 9 years, 4 months ago

The good news is that South Dakota State is on the schedule again this season, unless, of course, KU loses that game too.

Ryan Shelton 9 years, 4 months ago

Last year we played SDSU. This year we play SDU. Two different schools.

ryhultgren 9 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, actually you're both wrong. Last season we played (and beat) the South Dakota State University Jack Rabbits. (SDSU) This season, we play (and will beat) the University of South Dakota Coyotes. (USD. Not SDU)

Ryan Shelton 9 years, 4 months ago

Dare I ask you to weigh in on the Kansas U. Vs. U of Kansas debate?

KGphoto 9 years, 4 months ago

Even better news, The South Dakota Coyotes are actually on the schedule instead of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.

The Coyotes are the worst team we’ve played in probably a decade. 0-8 last year in the MVC.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits went 6-2 in the MVC, losing twice to MVC champ North Dakota State. They aren’t bad at all.

And it’s just SD. Not SDU or USD. At least that’s what’s on their helmet.

Brad Avery 9 years, 4 months ago

Maybe we can sneak Northwest Missouri State onto the schedule next season.

Jay Hawkinson 9 years, 4 months ago

I think it's more like 6 top tier and 4 bottom. The battle for 7th could be competitive. Tech probably has the most talent, but they are young and so is their coach. WVU and ISU have some serious rebuilding to do. I think KU has a great chance at a respectable season (by our recent standards, so like 4-5 wins). We are relying on lots of unproven talent, but the sheer number of guys who look good on paper that we've brought in is so large that we should have somebody pan out at almost every position.

Adam Collins 9 years, 4 months ago

Picking KU last in the conference for football every year is the equivalent to picking KU first in the conference for basketball every year.

kevinj0fkansas 9 years, 4 months ago

As much as I'd love to see 6 wins, I just don't see it happening without some serious lucky bounces going the way of the hawks unlike last year where they all seemed to go the other way. I'm expecting 3-4 assuming our talent upgrades are as good as they are being sold as, but wouldn't be entirely shocked to see 5.

I don't see the big 12 sending 9 teams bowling again, and I would probably view it as 4 top tier, 2 mid tier, and 4 bottom. Although, the gap between the top tier and mid tier is larger than the gap between mid and bottom. That could just be because there is little disagreement on where those bottom teams should be placed.

BringBackMark 9 years, 4 months ago

The Hawks had 5 wins in the bag last year had it not been for poor coaching, poor quarterback play, and a pathetic kicking game. Granted, 5 scholarships were wasted on senior transfers so those players aren't contributing this year. But, if this massive juco class has half the impact that Weis-n-gang think it will, this team should be significantly better than last year. The schedule is no tougher, and several Big 12 teams hit their high point last year (e.g., K-State).

The fact that KU is picked last is just a lazy media vote. Someone has to be there. The two funnies in this poll are TCU and Texas Tech. What makes anyone think TCU will be vastly improved from last year? And I'm sorry but Kingsbury may be the greatest young coach to come along in a long time but there will be growing pains. To put it another way, if we played them to overtime last year on their field, they change coaches, and they come here and beat us again this year on our field.....?????

texashawk10 9 years, 4 months ago

How is picking KU last in the Big 12 lazy on the media's part? What has KU done the past 4 years in conference to justify being picked anywhere but last? Nobody on the roster has experienced a win over a current Big 12 member since they beat KSU back in 2008 when Ron Prince was still there. Again, please enlighten everyone as to why picking KU last is a lazy vote?

BringBackMark 9 years, 4 months ago

If the poll is based on the past four years then you're right. They deserve to be picked last. I thought the polls were based on this years team. Also, KU beat ISU in 2009.

texashawk10 9 years, 4 months ago

What has the 2013 Jayhawks done to justify being picked anywhere but last? Preseason picks are based on what a team looks like on paper and KU is a team that is returning less than half their starters on a team that hasn't won a Big 12 game since 2010 and had a bottom half of the league recruiting class. KU has a QB that was average at BYU, a couple of good RB's, a Tavon Austin type player, a group of WR's that can't catch or run routes, an OLine that we know very little about against Big 12 competition, a DLine we know nothing about against Big 12 competition, one good LB and a couple of unknowns against Big 12 competition, a secondary we know nothing about against Big 12 competition, and a kicking game we know nothing about in game situations. Can this team finish better than last? Absolutely, but they have prove it on the field before there's any reason to logically pick KU anywhere but last.

hbjayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

This is a greatly improved team. Weis will get that signature "once in a generation" upset win this year against Texas (haven't beat them since 1939) or Ok St when they are ranked high this season. I see this team setting the stage for a huge 2014 season.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 4 months ago

Can I have some of what you're smoking?

Mark Lindrud 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm not sure about Texas, but I see us with an upset win. We were close in some games and let them slip away. We need a consistent passing game, a strong d line, a secondary that can cover and a good kicking game. That's quite a bit to ask for, but overall better consistency this year should lead to 4-5 wins. It's the second year in the program and this staff knows what it's doing so I want improvement then we can start thinking bowl games.

Ryan Shelton 9 years, 4 months ago

  1. OU. 6-3
  2. UT 6-3
  3. OSU 6-3
  4. TCU 6-3
  5. KSU 5-4
  6. BU 5-4
  7. WVU 3-6
  8. KU 3-6
  9. TTU 3-6
  10. ISU 2-7

KU will be the big surprise this year.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 4 months ago

If you are correct and KU also took care of business in the non-con, this would make them bowl eligible at 6-6. I would call that a major success. I hope you are right.

Jack Jones 9 years, 4 months ago

Agree with your KU assessment ~ possibly 1 more W. Also agree that pre-season media ranking will be a motivating plus.

mahkmood 9 years, 4 months ago

The media doesn't realize that eventually the Bon Jovi mind conditioning will create a fierce and relentless group of Weis automatons that will have a "decided schematic advantage"

Steve Jacob 9 years, 4 months ago

4-8 for KU. Anything more then that is great, less then that you have to wonder if Weis will stay.

VaJay 9 years, 4 months ago

Slightly disagree. 3 wins will show progress. Anything less & the rumblings may be too much for the existing coaching staff...

texashawk10 9 years, 4 months ago

3-0 in non-conference and 0-9 in Big 12 play would not be progress.

vd 9 years, 4 months ago

Unless you think Weis is a great coach.

gorilla10 9 years, 4 months ago

Rice returns more starters than anyone in the country. That team beat us last year and will be another big time challenge for KU this year. No way the Rice game is a "should be win". I wish it was....

kay_you 9 years, 4 months ago

For what its worth, USA Today has Rice as the 94th best team in the country. Two spots ahead of us.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 4 months ago

Why is this news? Until these guys stop getting embarrassed week after week after week, why should anyone think any differently about them? Considering KU has only won six of their last forty-three games, why should anyone think any differently?

kay_you 9 years, 4 months ago

In basketball we are the favorites until someone can beat us. Same thing in football only backwards.

texashawk10 9 years, 4 months ago

Casey Pachall is a much better QB than David Ash.

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 4 months ago

I feel pretty good about saying that isn't gonna happen. KU will win at least 3 or 4 conference games.

mahkmood 9 years, 4 months ago

The media doesn't realize that eventually the Bon Jovi mind conditioning will create a fierce and relentless group of Weis automatons that will have a "decided schematic advantage"

troutsee 9 years, 4 months ago

Once again the season rides on the hype at the QB position. If we do well there, look out. If that position turns out to be another huge dud, last place is a cinch. But, if we get good play from the QB, look out, as this KU team could be a nightmare on everyone's schedule.

Gary Wirsig 9 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, but the only ones having nightmares will be KU's coaches and fans. I love the Jayhawks, but am getting weary. Maybe I just need some coffee this morning...

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree, troutsee. But I think our unproven OL could be even a larger factor. I have a feeling that if Heap has time to toss it around we could be dangerous this year offensively.

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree, too. I think we could be a force with more teams than the critics realize. Consistency will be the big issue with us as some many pieces to the puzzle are in their first year with us. That being said we could finish the year just as Baylor did last year, on a streak. Sure hope we get the kid from Miami.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm a bit surprised OSU is at the top, it seems like they were mediocre last year and couldn't settle their QB situation (although a freshman). OU I would never bet against. However, where did TCU come from, I didn't think they did well last year and I haven't really heard that they did anything to make themselves that much better. TTU with a new coach but slides up...not sure if I understand that. I do understand KU and ISU at the bottom. I might have to agree with some of the comments above, the Big XII might just be that bad this year, and that might actually help KU.

Micky Baker 9 years, 4 months ago

Take this with a grain of salt. I mean that literally. Let it sting, and let it motivate the players so that they play with a chip on their shoulders. Kansas is not going to finish in last place in the Big 12 this season. I say, 6th, and that will get KU into a bowl.

There may be a lot of teams about 6-6 or 7-5 from the Big 12 this year but I can see 6 wins this year and maybe up to 8.

Get the chip on your shoulder. Let them be under the radar, and if Heaps and company and the newcomers(just 5 or 6 of them) make big impacts... you know the rest of the story.

Just remember, all 9 of KU's Big 12 opponents went to a Bowl a year ago. If KU improves to 6th, KU will be in a bowl.

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 4 months ago

If we DO finish last it will be like the year when there were four teams tied for 3rd place, which would still give us at least 5 wins. It will probably be that kind of year again in the conference.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 4 months ago

On paper, KU is the most improved team in the conference and probably the country. How this translates to the field will tell how good of a talent evaluator and coach Weis is.

If the team finishes the non-con with 3 wins, then there is hope that it can win 2-4 conference games. One or more loses in non-con and there is little hope of improvement.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 4 months ago

For those of you who are familiar with my depressing lunacy, tread lightly on my next words.

I am not, in any regard, going to start drinking the Kool-Aid. But the time of the year has come for me to....sadly, once again....allow blind optimism to sweep over me. Many of you have judged my comments as negative, disheartening, fair-weather fandom.

....I can't blame you.

But believe me when I say that I am the truest of KU football fans, and as such, in the darkest of situations, I still force myself to believe. Over the next month or so, you'll start to see my comments get more light-hearted and prideful of my team.

Do not mistake it for bandwagoning.

Being a true Jayhawk football fan is a cyclicle experience. Drown your sorrows in drink during the season, complain and enter dark depression after the season, and then....inevitably; routinely....pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get jacked for the season to start again.

....rinse and repeat.

I can make no promises, bets, or even deliver comforting predictions. But what I can say is this. I have witnessed miracles on The Hill; I have seen group of nobodies defy the experts; and I have seen proof...even in the cellar of college football....light can shine through.

Pick us last....every year. I could care less. But I have a gut feeling that one of the times you write us off; dismiss us as a joke; we will make you regret it. I see a lot of teams, players, coaches, and fans who don't think we're capable of three wins. Sound reasonnig, I suppose. But I believe that one time is going to happen this season.

So stay tuned. Stay the course. Keep the faith. Rock Chalk.

Bradley Sitz 9 years, 4 months ago

The tragedy is that we are paying a coaching fraud to try to rebuild a football program. This is the same guy that ND is still paying $2 mil a year (for three more years). Getting paid $4 mil a year to never win a football game is an amazing gig! Why would any athletic director choose a head coach for Kansas that could not win with all of the talent available at ND? KU's real future laid with a coaching talent that is now working for NC State in Raleigh. He really wanted the KU job... The fact is that Charlie has figured out that he does not have to win to get a huge payday. He only has to fine an incompetent AD to hire him. He makes the money regardless. As long as Charlie is coaching, KU will only manage to win 2 or 3 conference games a year.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 4 months ago

Media really going outside the box on this pick.

Jim Jackson 9 years, 4 months ago

Charlie went to back to back BCS games at ND in his first 2 years. He did not win those games but to say he was a complete faulure at ND would be in -accurate. Most of the games he lost were by a TD or less (check it out yourself) . He had a very good game plan his first season but we just did not have the personnel to compete. A 1 dimensional offense and we still had very close games against Rice, TCU, Texas, TTech, OSU, NIU.

We are going bowling this year. Rock Chalk

Michael Leiker 9 years, 4 months ago

KSU jumps out at me. Amazing how Snyder just continually gets no respect.

CrystalJones 9 years, 4 months ago

Snyder gets tons of respect. His team was ranked #1 for a couple of weeks last year and SI proclaimed them K-State "the nation's best team" on the Collin Klein cover. But they see a team that lost a lot on defense, so they're downgrading them in this year's preseason. But I do think they'll finish somewhere around 4th, not 6th

firebird27 9 years, 4 months ago

Question: How can the University of Kansas win a conference championship in football?

Answer: Get a men's soccer team.

troutsee 9 years, 4 months ago

The Jayhawks will be the surprise team for the press corps but no surprise to B12 coaches. They will know that this is not going to be a roll over team. It is going to take work against the Hawks this year and I think we have a real chance to go bowling. And, yes, the kool aid tastes great.

mikehawk 9 years, 4 months ago

We need to be picked last. Coach is probably relieved we were picked last. No where to go but up. Very modest goals are needed when you are trying to build a program from the ash heap which plays in one of the toughest leagues in college football. Can't believe people are already turning on our Coach. Who the heck is going to want to coach football at Kansas? Right now...NO ONE! All we have to do is get better. We desperately need a quarterback who can make a team respect the pass from time to time. I drank the Kool Aid last year believing we had one. We didn't. We have to be able to continue to run the ball, move chains, shorten games, and keep the defense off of the field for as long as possible because Big 12 teams can score points in bunches and bury you before half time, demoralizing the players over a 13 game schedule. The excitement over these juco players...they haven't seen anything at the junior college level like they are getting ready to experience. Four wins would be awesome! I think that is the max. Five wins! We're talking dancing in the streets. Six would be impossible and would bring about Big 12 Coach of the Year talk. The latter is not going to happen. Please, just keep getting a little better each year, and one of these years it might happen. Living in Tulsa where Danny Manning is head basketball coach, my dream is some year Kansas would be as good as the Univ of Tulsa football team is currently. We aren't even close to that right now, and that is some sad reality when we are compared that unfavorably to a team which thrives and wins on OU, OSU, and Arkansas rejects.

Bob Bailey 9 years, 4 months ago

Why is it that none of you can judge Defense?

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